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May 31, 2015

MSCI Signs Letter Supporting Remote Transaction Parity Act

Last week, MSCI agreed to sign onto a letter organized by the National Association of Wholesalers to support the Remote Transaction Parity Act of 2015 (RTPA), which would authorize states to require remote sellers to collect sales taxes. With online retailers getting into the metals distribution space, MSCI believes the Remote Transaction Parity Act is necessary to ensure a level playing field. 

The letter, which will be sent to bill sponsors Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Steve Womack (R-AR) in the next few weeks, argues the bill would provide a level playing field for all sellers with respect to the collection of state sales taxes and “unites a wide and diverse range of stakeholders seeking to restore free market competition and transparency to America’s marketplace.” The letter also argues the bill “is necessary to solve the key problem of price disparity at the point of purchase that is unfairly impacting community-based businesses.” 

The Remote Transaction Parity Act requires several important simplification and business protections, such as single point of collection, a uniform sales and use tax base and free certified software solutions for sellers. It also includes additional safeguards not found in other bills or discussion drafts such as expanded audit protections and a longer transition period for smaller sellers with a higher initial threshold. The letter argues, “These provisions will ensure that businesses are shielded from state regulatory overreach while providing certainty for all sellers to compete on a level playing field.”